Symbol of our freedom, victory and independence as a dignity and sovereignty of a nation, the Independence Monument (Khmer: វិមានឯករាជ្យ, “Vimean Ekareach”) in Phnom Penh capital of Cambodia, was built in 1958 to memorialize Cambodia‘s independence from France in 1953. And it also serves as a memorial to Cambodia’s war dead heroes.
It stands on the intersection of Norodom Boulevard and Sihanouk Boulevard in the center of the city.
It is in the form of a lotus-shaped stupa, of the style seen at the Khmer temple at Banteay Srei and other Khmer historical sites. The Independence Monument was designed by the Cambodian architect Vann Molyvann, who was “personally selected and instructed” by Prince Norodom Sihanouk on how it should look like, combining “the religious and the secular.” It stands 37 meters tall.
During national celebrations, The Independence Monument is the center of activity. A ceremonial flame on the interior pedestal is often lit by a royal or high official on these occasions, and floral tributes line the stairs. Every year, The Independence Monument is visited by foreign tourists and locals alike. Behind the monument is the Norodom Sihanouk Memorial, constructed in 2013.